Not all snack foods are created equal.
When we see the USDA seal on organic snacks, most of us think about what happens on the farm. We assume the ingredients in those yummy snacks must be grown without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and petroleum-based fertilizers.
But did you know, unlike other snacks on the markets, the distinctions continue off the farm, when snacks are made.
By law, organic snacks must be made:
- Without artificial colors
- Without artificial preservatives
- Without artificial flavors
- Without GMOs – that’s genetically engineered ingredients
In fact, any ingredient, other than the organic crops off the farm, must be approved for use in organic snacks, and the list isn’t very long. Take a look for yourself next time you are shopping.
Organic processors must also take a number of steps to ensure additional standards are met for how the snacks are made. This means thoroughly cleaning machinery, storing organic ingredients separate from non-organic ones to avoid mixing, and lots of record-keeping to verify that when you buy an organic snack it contains only what you expect.
Not sure how to tell whether the snacks you are buying are organic? It’s easy! Look for the USDA seal. This indicates that the product is made of at least 95% organic ingredients. You can also look for the phrase "Made with Organic Ingredients." This indicates that the product contains at least 70 percent organic ingredients.
No matter which kind of organic snacks you choose, you can be confident that organic production and processing is the only system that uses certification and inspection to verify that crops are grown this way and snacks are made this way.
When it comes to choosing healthy snacks that you and your family can trust, Organic. It’s worth it.
*Photo courtesy of Blue Marble Brands.